at the expense of somebody/something

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at the expense of

1. The financial responsibility of (a particular person or group). Once I learned that the trip was at the expense of my department, I decided to go.
2. To the detriment or disadvantage of (someone). I was furious when I heard the other kids telling jokes at the expense of my little brother.
See also: expense, of

at the expense of someone or something

Fig. to the detriment of someone or something; to the harm of someone or something. He had a good laugh at the expense of his brother. He took a job in a better place at the expense of a larger income.
See also: expense, of

at the expense of

Also, at one's expense.
1. Paid for by someone, as in The hotel bill for the sales force is at the expense of the company. [Mid-1600s]
2. To the detriment or injury of a person or thing, as in We can't speed up production at the expense of quality, or The laughter was all at Tom's expense. [Late 1600s]
See also: expense, of

at the expense of somebody/something

causing damage or loss to somebody/something else: We could lower the price, but only at the expense of quality.
References in periodicals archive ?
Our growth is not at the expense of somebody else's exploitation.
Cameron wanted his Falklands moment - a quick, showy military victory won at the expense of somebody else's son, somebody else's husband.
What we have here is a charter for the idiot inebriated to excuse their own drunken behaviour at the expense of somebody else.
It was nice,'' Campbell said, ``but you don't want to do it at the expense of somebody else, especially an injury.
All of that is of utmost importance in our part of the world just now because you will still be able to find that there are dreams of a paternalistic state, together with open or hidden suspicions that getting richer is always at the expense of somebody else and that the creation of wealth is a zero-sum game.
My happiness cannot be at the expense of somebody else's.
I don't think anyone wants career advancement at the expense of somebody else,'' Lavin said.
Swimming) to federal court and right a wrong but not at the expense of somebody else.